Take a seat and breathe in this latest information on why everyone’s getting so fat. On second thought, don’t breathe too deep if your house isn’t clean. New research has found that household dust most of us live with is actually connected to weight gain.
In the experiment, scientists from Duke University gathered pre-fat cells from a group of mice. They then exposed them to 11 different samples of dust that are comparable to the household dust we are all too familiar with.
What they found was disheartening. Seven out of the 11 different samples used caused the pre-fat cells to fully develop into fat cells. In addition to this, the study showed that nine out of the 11 samples actually caused the cells to divide, creating even more pre-fat cells causing more potential for weight gain.
Dust could be our downfall
The researchers say that this is due to the chemical components of dust. Found within our homes, these chemicals have the potential to change our metabolic functions for the worse. “Dust is comprised of many elements including hormone-affecting chemicals called endocrine disruptors that can damage reproductive systems, the thyroid, metabolic rates and the heart, as well as cause cancer.” These chemicals are found in many of our household items (plastics, pesticides, cosmetics, commercial packaging, cleaning products), which in turn get into the dust that we breathe in.
Even more alarming were the levels of dust that caused these changes to occur in pre-fat cells. During the experiment, researchers found that the levels needed to affect the metabolic functions of the pre-fat cells were much lower than the current government-acknowledged levels of dust that children are exposed to daily.
Unfortunately, at this point, there is not enough research to determine how we can eliminate dust levels permanently. The researchers do suggest using wet dusting techniques as opposed to dry dusting, with a rag or a feather duster. Dry dusting can release more dust particles in the air, increasing our chances of exposure.
Future research is in the works and scientists say they will continue to look into how these particles affect our health. They’re also looking into ways that we can decrease our exposure to dust. The scientists say that this is their top priority. They have put out an urgent call for more studies on how dust affects weight gain and our overall health.